1934 to 2022

Those ice-blue Paul Newman eyes

If Jack Daybell centered those ice-blue Paul Newman eyes your way, you knew you had his full attention. There was no one else in the room. With family, an extra warmth exuded from him, something intangible that lingered in his playfully wicked smile, especially when directed at his beloved wife, Bonnie.

Even near the end, when Parkinson’s disease and a stroke had ravaged his mental and physical abilities, Jack recognized his loved ones, gave great hugs, and gleefully welcomed a frosty Mirror Pond Pale Ale, especially the one his children smuggled into his hospital room. Still, his passing at age 88 on May 10, 2022, at St. Anthony’s Hospital, in his hometown of Gig Harbor, WA, reigns as an incalculable loss for all who knew him. As she had been for months of hospital stays and doctor’s visits, Bonnie was at his side, as was stepdaughter Susan Adamski.

Huge sports fan and natural athlete

The first of three children, Jack Warren Daybell was born April 20, 1934, in Mesa, AZ, to Russell Daybell, a mortician, and Meryl (Thomas) Daybell. Named ‘Jack’ after his mother’s brother and ‘Warren’ after his mother’s father, he was raised in a family of Mormons but remained stubbornly agnostic. A huge sports fan and natural athlete, he and his best friend, Ken Toney, spent any time away from school on the golf course or baseball field, where Jack usually played shortstop.

Jack at age 9.

A graduate of Arizona State University in 1958, Jack majored in economics, not because he loved economics but because an economics professor took a shine to him and persuaded him to select the major, son Mark Daybell said. “He had an interest in almost every subject, so, in some ways, it didn’t make a difference.”

Jack also studied at Brigham Young University and the University of Arizona, originally setting his sights on a career in dentistry.

From 1954 to 1956, Jack interrupted his education to serve in the US Army Medical Core. When he reported for duty, a frustrated clerk asked if he could type. Answering in the affirmative, Jack spent most of his military career behind a desk. He deemed it a wonderful experience and often talked fondly about the service guys he met, and how they introduced him to politics, beer, and having fun.

Pretty much a loner growing up, Jack remembered little about his brother Ron, who was much younger. Closer to his sister Sandra, he eventually married her best friend, Diane Gail Orr, in 1959, and moved to California to start his family and career. The Daybells later lived in Carlsbad and had three children, Lisa, in 1960, John, in 1963, and Mark, in 1967. Although he was strict as a parent, his children adored him. And he adored coaching all three kids in baseball.

L-R John, Mark and Lisa Daybell.

Son Mark credited any success he’s had in life to his parents, Jack and Diane. “Dad provided the rationale, logical support and, when needed, the comforting care, while my mom provided the ‘it will all work out,’ don’t stress about it approach to life. It was an ideal pairing.”

But the marriage ended and the couple divorced in the mid-1980s.

From dentistry to banking

Jack switched his career goals from dentistry to banking after he was hired at Bank of America in Westwood, CA, in 1959. Snatched up by Ernst and Young, he was then hired by Oceanside Federal S&L as their Treasurer, then CFO, eventually rising to President of all seventeen branches. When the savings and loan industry collapsed, Jack worked at several other lending institutions, the last being Gold River S&L in Fair Oaks, CA.

Jack first met Bonnie Kilpatrick when he and Diane lived in Carlsbad. After the Daybells divorced, Jack moved to Fair Oaks, a suburb of Sacramento, where Jack and Bonnie’s friendship flamed into love. They married in Lake Tahoe in 1986 and lived in Roseville, CA. In 1999, they moved to Gig Harbor, WA, where they enjoyed a blissful retirement, their dream home, endless golf, all the books they never had time to read, and—most importantly—each other. Eventually, Bonnie turned to real estate.

Total awe from his teammates

Bonnie vividly recalls when she realized the extent of Jack’s athleticism. He was playing centerfield for a local baseball team in Fair Oaks and “casually plucked a fly ball near the home run fence and threw it to the catcher for an out,” she said. “I could hear the guys in the dugout, one saying ‘Daybell just threw a strike from deep center field!’”

His teammates were in total awe to see someone in the over-forty age bracket hurl a strike to the catcher from the deepest part of the field. “He was so talented,” Bonnie said.

An accomplished skier and excellent tennis player, Jack—with his 3-handicap – could putt and drive a golf ball with PGA precision–until he tore his rotator cuff, one of his biggest disappointments as it ruined his golf game. Although he had numerous buddies to play with on a regular basis, he loved to play by himself or with Bonnie so he could concentrate on his game and enjoy a splendid 18-hole walk.

L-R Jamie, Jack, Susie, Brian, and Bonnie.

At 5-feet-10 and 151 pounds, Jack cut a dashing figure, his posture straight as a tree. He was also deeply romantic and “loved nothing more than a slow dance or a long cuddle,” his wife said. His light brown hair turned gray fairly early but his innate charm only blossomed when hand-in-hand with Bonnie, a gorgeous, sassy, erudite blonde, who brought her new husband a fresh sense of worth—and three, additional, nearly grown children. Jaime Kilpatrick, Susan Adamski, and Brian Kilpatrick.  An equal opportunity dad, Jack remained as committed to his stepchildren as he was to his own. Whether it came to advice, financial help, or encouragement, he was always there. Always available.

Dreaded going to parties

Not that Jack didn’t have his moments, both stubborn and halting. As president of Oceanside S&L, for example, he had panic attacks whenever he had to give a speech. He also dreaded going to parties but always relaxed and had a wonderful time once there. A neat freak he was not. Despite the clutter on his desk, he could always find anything he needed. Although he could barely boil an egg, he was glorious when it came to cleaning up in the kitchen after one of Bonnie’s gourmet feasts.

L to R: Lisa, Bonnie, Jack, John, Julie, Mark, and Kirstin Daybell.

Bonnie’s biggest gripe? He would watch sports with the sound turned off. “One of the secrets to our marriage was my interest in sports, something we shared.  But with the sound off, you couldn’t even browse through a magazine without fear of missing something big.”

A Democrat, Jack could often be found with a book in his hand, almost exclusively non-fiction, history, or politics. But he also loved Herman Wouk’s Winds of War, and War and Remembrances. Chariots of Fire was his favorite movie, and he watched every episode of Law and Order. Oh, and Country music was on his list of favorites, just ahead of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream.

A spectacular, captivating, wonderful man

Jack with grandson Ryan Norman, Lisa’s son.

Jack fulfilled all his roles with dignity and grace, even at times humor. Son, grandson, athlete, avid golfer, good friend, baseball fanatic, father, stepfather, uncle, grandfather, and husband, he was a spectacular, captivating, wonderful man treasured by all who knew and loved him.

Jack Warren Daybell is survived by his wife, Bonnie Daybell of Gig Harbor; his daughter Lisa Mullen of Vista, CA, mother to Ryan, Landon and Bret Norman as well as Jace and Jack Mullen;  son John Daybell (Julie), grandchildren Carson and Sophia; son Mark Daybell (Kirstin) of Studio City, CA; and stepdaughters Jaimie Kilpatrick of Baltimore, MD and Susan Adamski of St. Charles, MO, and stepson Brian Kilpatrick of Escondido, CA.

A Celebration of Jack’s Life is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, August 6, 2022, at Canterwood Golf & Country Club, 12606 54th Avenue NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Jack Daybell’s name to The Parkinson’s Foundation:  https://secure3.convio.net/prkorg/site/Donation2?df_id=10407&mfc_pref=T&10407.donation=form1